In Rock County, the fight against human trafficking began with the Stateline Community Foundation, a charitable organization that if focused on connecting people who care with causes that matter. In 2015, the Women’s Fund of the Stateline Community Foundation highlighted human trafficking as a social issue for women and girls by coordinating a public awareness forum related to human trafficking. This ignited a spark within the community and several service agencies began to meet to discuss how to bring awareness to this issue. What began as a local effort known as Beloit Against Sexual Exploitation (BASE) quickly expanded to include partners from across Rock County.
The small monthly gathering evolved into a county-wide movement and BASE engaged skilled facilitators from End Abuse Wisconsin to guide a mapping process in order to identify strengths, challenges, gaps and opportunities. This robust activity served to grow relationships and align the dedicated partners, resulting in the Rock County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHTTF) being established in the spring of 2017.
The mission of the RCAHTTF is to develop and maintain a community network that serves to educate, prevent, and respond to youth who have been or are at-risk of being trafficked. RCAHTTF is comprised of local agencies and strong leaders working diligently to help our community, including school districts, law enforcement, human services, health care partners, and advocacy agencies. In the fall of 2017, the RCAHTTF hosted an event in order to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding.
To date, RCAHTTF has collaborated with system partners to increase human trafficking awareness. These efforts include: flyers and brochures, Facebook page, press releases, billboards, radio spots, booths at community events, and speaking engagements. In 2018 RCAHTTF trained over 1,300 professionals in Rock County.